Student Silence

Iran Cuts Off Online Access

On the eve of student protests planned for Monday, Iran has blocked Internet access and warned foreign journalists to stay in their offices for the next three days. The move was intended to make mobilization more difficult for Tehran’s opposition, but demonstrators are still hoping for a big turnout. Mir Hossein Mousavi, who lost to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in last summer’s disputed election, threw his support behind the student protests. Universities are key centers of support for the opposition movement, and in response, a wave of arrests and student expulsions have hit campuses nationwide, as well as informers recruited by the Basij militia. Tehran has not publicly acknowledged it’s behind the Internet outages, but local Internet service providers have said the problem is not a glitch on their end.